Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

1 John 5:16-17 (23.12.21)

1 John 5:16-17
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

Here’s the bit I avoided on Sunday morning! It’s a tricky few verses, which can make Christians feel worried about whether they’ve committed this unforgivable sin. Although scholars debate exactly what it is (John doesn’t help us by not giving any clear clues), I think I’m on safe ground if I say if you’re worrying about this, it doesn’t apply to you – he has made time and time again that if you place your trust in him, you are forgiven and secure. My suspicion is that he may be referring to the false teachers John is seeking to protect his readers from who not only refuse Jesus but who proactively work against his message. What is of more interest to me here is the section we can do understand and that has a practical application for us – if we see those in God’s family who are struggling with following in Jesus in some way, if we pray for God’s help for them, he will answer this prayer and help them overcome the obstacles they’re facing!

Are there areas in your life where you’re struggling to follow Jesus – ask for help knowing he will help you. While you’re doing this, bring others in our family that are struggling in some way, knowing that by doing so, you are making a difference for them too.

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